The Chip On The Shoulder...
So, I was at the presentation of the Prime Minister's Literary Awards this week.
It was a lovely event (nice lunch too), opened by encouraging speeches from both the new Minister of the Arts, Simon Crean, and Prime Minister Julia Gillard herself, mentioning that this was the first time that Children's and Young Adult Literature had been recognised in these awards, and how appropriate this was, given the strength of Australian writing across all genres and ages. Then the awards themselves were presented: to Eva Hornung for Dog Boy, Fiction; Grace Karskens, The Colony, Non Fiction; Bill Condon, Confessions of A Liar, Thief and Failed Sex God, Young Adult; and Lorraine Marwood, Star Jumps, Children's Literature.
BUT (and this is where the chip comes in!) it was disappointing to note that some representatives of the media packed up and left after the two adult awards were presented; they didn't even stay to hear the winners of the YA and Children's categories.
And apparently a prominent national radio book show did discuss the adult award-winning books in some detail, but barely mentioned the fact that there had also been Children's and YA awards. Let alone name the winners. Let alone talk about them.
For heaven's sake. When will the snobs of the literary world come to their senses and realise that without young readers, there are no adult readers? That kids read more books than adults do? Don't they remember that they grew up on kids' books too, that the books they first fell in love with, the books that taught them to love reading, were kids' books? Or did they all start straight in on Jude The Obscure and The Brothers Karamazov?
Here endeth the rant.